Cartoon Wars roundup (2)

Some more links related to the Danish cartoon affair:

Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , . Comments Off on Cartoon Wars roundup (2)

Cartoon wars roundup

The row over the Danish cartoons continues to run and run, albeit at a somewhat lower level of intensity:

  • There have been riots in Pakistan, after weeks of protests.
  • A Pakistani cleric has announced a bounty of $1 million to whoever kills the cartoonist who depicted Mohammed. He appears unaware that there were several cartoonists! This is in addition to the Taleban’s bounty of 100kg of gold.
  • There have been denial of service attacks and other attempts to hack/disrupt Danish websites and other websites that supported the cartoons. The hosters of Michelle Malkin’s blog have also been under this sort of electronic attack, and she has received threatening emails:

    From: naser jianpour (
    Date: Feb 10, 2006 12:04 PM
    Subject: we will kill you

    I am Iranian I am a mosleme .
    We will kill you( every )
    down with you( Crectian & jowe.)
    world is mine.


    From: monalisa monalisa (
    Date: Feb 4, 2006 5:55 PM
    Subject: you are filth

    the dishonourable the mean the prostitute I’am a müslim and turkish I kill
    you devil you are goto the hell shit the whore


    From: (
    Date: Feb 11, 2006 9:41 PM
    Subject: mohammed

    you have one day to delete all pictures of mohammed from your server, or i hack this site and delete all files on this server. ok

    mohammed have never a face. dou you now.

    for ever islam

  • Bill Clinton has condemned the cartoons (twice). The reports do not indicate that he has said anything about those issuing death threats, rioting and burning embassies or the climate of fear and intimidation that has been created by Islamists who try to suppress any perceived insult or criticism of Islam.
  • A female journalist covering an anti-cartoons protest in Turkey was stoned by the protestors who say they provoked her by not wearing a head scarf! Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin.
  • Some interesting comments have been made on a BBC web page featuring a selection of commentators:
    • Dr Yunes Teinaz of the London Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre states “Freedom of expression is not a licence to attack a culture or religion”. If we take this seriously, then he is suggesting that two huge areas of human behaviour and beliefs should be off-limits to criticism or ridicule. It seems to me that for freedom of speech to be worthwhile and to mean something, no area of human behaviour of beliefs should be held to be immune from criticism. I see no reason for privileging cultural and religious beliefs by holding them to be immune from criticism or even ridicule. I also disagree that the cartoons were in any way racist as he also suggests.
    • Munira Mirza, a journalist, makes an important point:

      British newspapers should publish the images. Muslims should be able to see them and judge them for themselves, that’s why we have freedom of speech.

      Many Muslims want the same freedoms as everyone else to debate, criticise and challenge their religion.

      They want to be able to say: “Hey we’re not children, we can handle criticism, we don’t need special protection – we’re equal.”

    • Karen Armstrong, an author of a biography of Mohammed, claims that the cartoons were “criminally irresponsible”, yet fails to make any mention of the responsibility, criminal or otherwise, of those who have sent death threats to anyone who dares to criticise or insult Islam or Islamists, those who have been rioting, those who have toured the middle east stirring up anger with extra pictures that Jyllands-Posten had not solicited or published, those who have been torching embassies or those who have been offering bounties for the heads of the cartoonists concerned. These cartoons are no worse then those that appear regularly about world leaders and politicians or figures from other religions in Western media. I don’t see why lampooning Mohammed should be held to be criminally irresponsible when these other cartoons are not.
Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Cartoon wars roundup

British Muslim group calls for ban on depicting Mohammed

As I’ve reported at Magna Carta Plus, a group of British Muslims have called for a ban on depicting Mohammed. Thus this group wants us to observe a tenet of their religion. That’s both an attack on freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: , , , . Comments Off on British Muslim group calls for ban on depicting Mohammed

Has Jyllands-Posten been hypocritical?

It turns out that Jyllands-Posten, the paper which published the cartoons of Mohammed in Denmark back in September, had previously, in 2003, refused to publish a cartoon of Jesus, on the grounds that it might cause offence.

Some have suggested that the argument that Jyllands-Posten published the cartoons of Mohammed as a test of Danish freedom of speech and as part of a debate on freedom of speech is a hypocritical one in the light of this.

I don’t think this does necessarily show they’ve been hypocritical, though of course it’s not unknown for newspapers — or any other human organisation — to do so. There are several reasons:

  • according to the article linked above, the editor who rejected the Jesus cartoon is a different editor from the one who commissioned the Mohammed cartoons. Thus we have different people judging the suitability of the cartoons in each case.
  • the Jesus cartoon was submitted for publication, not commissioned by the paper.
  • the paper’s ostensible reason for commissioning the Mohammed cartoons was that, in the light of the difficulties Kare Bluitgen had finding an artist to illustrate a children’s book on Mohammed, difficulties based on fear of death threats from militant Muslims at a perceive insult to Islam if they did, they wanted to test Danish freedom of speech and spark a debate about the issue. The fear of intimidation for depicting Mohammed simply did not exist with regards to Jesus. Thus the need to stand up for freedom of speech did not exist in that case and the possible causation of offence over an unsolicited cartoon would not be countered by the imperative to stand up to intimidation from some militant Muslims.

It is worth nothing that since publication the offices of Jyllands-Posten have been subjected to bomb-scares and that the cartoonists have faced death threats and have gone into hiding. Also, the remnants of the Taleban have put a bounty on the cartoonist’s heads, namely 100kg of gold.

As with Salman Rushdie, Theo Van Gogh, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders, the response of some Islamists to a perceived insult of Islam is to intimidate and threaten the death of those responsible. Indeed, where Salman Rushdie was famously the subject of a fatwa calling for this death, Theo Van Goh was murdered and a note pinned to his body threatened Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Their crime? To have made a film, Submission, highlighting the mistreatment of women in Muslim families.

It is this intimidation that threatens freedom of speech and it seems to me that Jyllands-Posten were trying to stand up for freedom of speech against such intimidation when they asked for the cartoons.

Now maybe JP aren’t perfect, maybe they’ve not always been so good at standing up for freedom of speech, maybe they were even trying to get some publicity, but that does not alter the fact that such intimidation occurs, they are now the recipients of such intimidation – along with anyone else who has published the cartoons and that there is a need to counter this intimidation of people who dare to criticise Muslims or Islamic culture.

Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Has Jyllands-Posten been hypocritical?

If Islam is a religion of peace…


  • those who send death threats to the cartoonists of Jyllends-Posten are betraying Islam.
  • those who are torching embassies in the middle east are betraying Islam.
  • those who marched in London calling for those who depicted Mohammed to be exterminated, annihilated or beheaded are betraying Islam.
  • those who murdered Theo Van Gogh and drove Dutch MPs Geert Wilders and Ayaan Hirsi Ali into hiding are betraying Islam.
  • those who called for the death of Salman Rushdie, including issuing the famous fatwa, are betraying Islam.
  • those who carried out 9/11, 7/7, the Madrid bombings and the Bali bombings are betraying Islam.
Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: , , , . Comments Off on If Islam is a religion of peace…

Some questions

If the Labour party said that cartoons caricaturing or mocking their MPs and leaders deeply offended them, should the media stop producing such cartoons?

If the Royal family said they found cartoons that mock the Royals offensive and hurtful, should the media stop producing those?

If the leaders of Christian, Jewish, Sikh or Hindu institutions or communities said they found cartoons mocking their prophets or leaders insulting, should the media obey?

If representatives of the USA said the Americans found cartoons caricaturing them or their president or their army or their people deeply offensive, should the media stop producing such cartoons to mollify their feelings?

If this line of reasoning doesn’t convince you that the media should stop producing cartoons caricaturing (members of) the above groups should they claim to feel that way, why should it convince you in the case of Muslims?

Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: , , , . Comments Off on Some questions

Protestors in London call for beheading of those who depict Mohammed

Channel 4’s special report in the Danish cartoon row features a protest outside Regents Park Mosque. The protestors can be clearly heard chanting “Denmark, USA, 7/7 on its way”, the placards features slogans such as “Behead the one who insults the Prophet”, “Annihilate those who insult Islam” and “Freedom of expression can go to hell”. Click on the video link on this page to see the report.

Here are some photos of the placards. One reads “Be prepared for the real Holocaust”. Another reads “Freedom go to Hell”.

If anyone wants to know who some of the enemies of the open society are, look no further.

Is this a remotely sane or reasonable response to the publication of these cartoons?

What we have here is a group of militant religious fundamentalists trying to dictate what we can and cannot print in our newspapers, on the basis that if we violate a particular tenet of their religion, they will feel offended and insulted. They are trying to make us obey a tenet of their religion whether we subscribe to that religion or not. They are also calling for the death of those who dare to depict Mohammed, and some seem to be calling for a holocaust.

If we decide to give in on this, what will the religious zealots claim insult for next? The drinking of alcohol? The eating of non Halal food? Women who dare to dress in anything more revealing than a burqa?

I sincerely hope most Muslims have nothing to do with people like the protestors above. It is worth noting that some Muslims are bravely standing up for free speech. We should give them our support and stand up for free speech ourselves.

Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , . Comments Off on Protestors in London call for beheading of those who depict Mohammed